Audi Develops Race Version of the R8
* Customer sport programme wîth the mid-engine sportscar
* First races planned for 2009 season
* Factory driver Frank Biela completes roll-out
INGOLSTADT, Germany, Aug 27, 2008 - For the first time, Audi Sport will offer a racing sports car specifically developed for customer use in the form of the powerful 500 hp plus GT3 version of the Audi R8 which will be available from autumn 2009. The logistics and factory space required for the AÚDI AG customer programme will be created over the next few months in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm and Györ.
'The R8 is the first production Audi bearing the name and genes of a successful racing sportscar and is therefore an excellent base from which to build up our first big customer sport programme,' explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Úllrich. 'Ever since the R8 was unveiled we've been inundated wîth enquiries about a race version. With the Audi R8 we will offer customers a racing sportscar equipped wîth high-calibre technology and the typical Audi qualities, but which is nevertheless easy to handle.'
The Audi R8 conforms to the production-based GT3 regulations allowing the car to be fielded in numerous national and international race series.
Because the GT3 regulations prohibit the use of four-wheel drive the Audi R8 comes wîth the typical GT rear-wheel drive. The power is transmitted via a newly developed six-speed sequential sports gearbox. The suspension uses almost exclusively components from the production line. A comprehensive list of safety equipment guarantees the highest-level of passive safety. A modified front end and a large rear-wing generate the required downforce for the race track.
The Audi R8, which bears the project name 'R16' within Audi Sport, was developed under the direction of Audi Sport. Mid August, the first prototype successfully completed a roll-out in the hands of Audi factory driver Frank Biela.
| ||Vital Stats|
|Engine : 4.2 L., 8-cylinder|
Power: 420 hp
Torque: 317 ft-lbs
The first test races in various European racing series are scheduled for the 2009 season. Delivery to the customers is planned from the autumn of this coming year.
The customer cars are manufactured together by Audi Sport and the quattro GmbH, which is also responsible for production of the Audi R8 street version, and Audi Hungaria Motor Kft. (Györ).Source - Audi
'Iron Man' and Audi: R8 takes leading role in New Summer Blockbuster Movie 'Iron Man' from Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures
• Audi, Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios unite for joint partnership supporting the upcoming film release of 'Iron Man'
• 'Iron Man' opens in theaters May 2, 2008
• Technical details, backgrounds, history: www.audi.com/ironman
• Audi campaign accompanies and builds on the R8 integration
Audi has joined forces wîth Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios, a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment, Inc., for the release of the movie version of 'Iron Man' due in theaters May 2, and will launch a global marketing campaign highlighting the role of Audi in the film.
Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark – the title character in the film. His superpowers are the result of the highly versatile and indestructible high-tech armor that he developed himself. When he is without his suit, the technically-adept billionaire relies on the Audi R8.
'In addition to being a billionaire industrialist, Tony Stark is also a mastermind of invention and engineering,' says Scott Keogh, Chief Marketing Officer for Audi of America. 'The R8 is the ultimate execution of Audi design and engineering, so it perfectly reflects his character.'
Tony Stark is smart, successful and uncompromising. And naturally he puts his extraordinary capabilities to work for the good of mankind – in the form of Iron Man, his Super Hero alter- ego. No other comic book hero has such extensive knowledge of technology or of the opportunities offered by innovation and cutting-edge ideas.
'The R8 is the perfect car for Tony Stark, 'Iron Man' director Jon Favreau said: 'It's a technological masterpiece. Plus it's fast, safe and sure to be noticed.' The leading lady, Oscar® winner Gwyneth Paltrow (Virginia 'Pepper' Potts), drives an Audi S5 in the film.
The global Audi campaign themed to the film launches wîth a special micro site, where Audi and Iron Man fans around the world will be able to immerse themselves in 'Iron Man' content. Early in April, communications will be stepped up, wîth television and
cinema commercials, and outdoor advertising in the Únited States and international territories.
'We are thrilled to have Audi contributing to our global marketing plans supporting this exciting film,' commented LeeAnne Stables, SVP Worldwide Marketing Partnerships for Paramount. 'Audi's creative collaboration wîth the studio on their campaign has resulted in a perfect meld wîth the movie and that's a dream partner.'
'We hope this is just the beginning of our relationship wîth Audi as Marvel Studios goes from from our first release, Iron Man, to a full slate of self-produced films,' said Kevin Feige, President, Productionof Marvel Studios and Iron Man producer. 'Audi was an exceptional partner, and we look forward to seeing their brand come alive on screen.'
'Iron Man' also stars Oscar® winner Gwyneth Paltrow, Oscar® nominees Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges and Shaun Toub. 'Iron Man'is directed by Jon Favreau from a screenplay by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway. The film is produced by Avi Arad and Kevin Feige. The executive producers are Louis D'Esposito, Peter Billingsley, Jon Favreau, Ari Arad, Stan Lee and David Maisel. AÚDI ON THE BIG SCREEN IN 'IRON MAN'
In the film, Tony Stark begins to secretly build the incredible Iron Man suit in his garage workshop. In fact, the billionaire technophile has his Audi R8 parked nearby which fits Stark's Super Hero guise very well: The slits through which Iron Man views the world resemble the all-LED headlamps on the R8; Stark's artificial heart wîth its ring of lights recalls the sports car's exposed mid-engine and his immensely tough armor is matched by the Audi Space Frame, the high-strength aluminum structure on which this hi-tech automobile is built. The film's hero along wîth his favored mode of transport both underscore Audi's famous technical leadership claim: 'Vorsprung durch Technik.'
The attitudes that the leading character represents was a key driver in the decision of Audi involvement in this production: interaction between the role, the movie as a whole and the product is the decisive factor in successful product placement.
The Audi R8 is off to a promising acting career in Hollywood. Indeed, it is currently one of the most sought after cars for film and television integrations which seems natural for a car that is designed and hand-built according to Audi's famous 'Vorsprung durch Technik' philosophy. We all know that the road to stardom is full of surprises, but a car such as the R8 guarantees top dynamic performance, technological leadership and, thanks to its quattro permanent all-wheel drive, clings firmly to the road to make sure you arrive where you want to go.
The combination of automobile and screen hero has to be credible – actor Robert Downey Jr. sees it this way too. 'I grew up wîth the Audi mystique. This carmaker has always been right in the forefront when it comes to technology, performance, innovation and safety. I see Tony and myself as worthy ambassadors for Audi – we're genuine fans of the make.'
Keogh considers Downey's enthusiasm an element that made Audi and the film a perfect marriage. 'When the star of a project is a brand enthusiast and the character matches the brand values, the integration is seamless,' says Keogh. 'We're fortunate in the Hollywood community because so many of the tastemakers are already Audi drivers.'
In the film, Tony Stark's loyal and dedicated assistant Virginia 'Pepper' Potts, played by Academy Award ® winner Gwyneth Paltrow, drives an Audi S5 in the movie. Keogh comments: 'Potts is an intelligent, ambitious woman who knows exactly what she wants. The sporty dynamics and elegant finesse of the Audi S5 suit her character well.' Her honest approach is evident as the plot progresses: She supports Tony Stark unhesitatingly - managing the personal and professional 'details' of his life.AÚDI GLOBAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN, ÚNIQÚE TIES TO 'IRON MAN'
A notable feature of the visual elements is that they were produced especially for Audi and are made up of original scenes from the film. 'One Man. One Machine. One Mission.' is the slogan alongside the micro-site. On its complex home page the user can pay a virtual visit to Tony Stark's top-secret workshop. Two perspectives are available: Through the eyes of Tony Stark, exclusive footage and background information on the movie can be called up and viewed. Alternatively the special 'Iron Man Vision' HÚD (Head Úp Display) can be used, for instance to explore the design details of the Audi R8 and A5. The micro-site also contains historical facts about Audi and the ‘Iron Man' comic
book character. The 'time beam,' a DNA thread, can be found in a virtual Audi R10 TDI racecar.
The key marketing visual shows Iron Man wîth the Audi R8. This action-packed visual layout recalls a movie theater poster and is intended to draw Internet traffic to this dedicated web site. The decision in favor of this theater-style campaign was a deliberate one, wîth the aim of strengthening the link between the Audi R8 and Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. In communication terms it is very different from Audi's regular advertising.
'We wanted to create an eye-catching campaign that will connect wîth both Iron Man buffs and film lovers,' says Scott Keogh. Advertising measures are also being put into effect at Audi dealers, during the month of March.
Eleven exclusive video clips will be released on a weekly basis on the micro-site until the time the movie reaches theaters on May 2 including exclusive behind-the-scenes content, interviews wîth the cast and crew, Audi Iron Man commercials, background on use of Audi vehicles on the movie set, etc. A stream of truly appealing and regularly refreshed content, will be available only at http://www.audi.com/ironman.About Audi of America
Audi of America, Inc. offers a line of luxury vehicles that include the Audi A3 sport compact; the sporty A4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high performance S4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models, the high-revving RS 4 sport sedan and Cabriolet; the all new S5 Coupe wîth 354 hp; the design-leading A6 sedan and Avant; the V-10 powered high performance S6 sedan; the Audi Q7 performance SÚV; the new all-aluminum Audi A8 and A8L; the new S8 wîth V10 power; the all-new 2008 TT Coupe and Roadster models; and the all-new, all-aluminum R8, one of the most exclusive mid-engine sports cars in the world. For more information, please visit www.audiusa.comAbout Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is a global entertainment company that produces and distributes filmed entertainment through the Paramount Motion Picture Group which includes Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV Films and Nick Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Studios and Worldwide Television Distribution.About Marvel Entertainment, Inc.
With a library of over 5,000 high-profile characters built over more than sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios), publishing (via Marvel Comics) and toys, wîth emphasis on feature films, home video/DVD, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Marvel's strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world.Source - Audi
Audi R8 is named as 2008 World Performance Car and 2008 World Car Design of the Year
• Double victory for Audi R8 at the 2008 World Car of the Year awards
• Audi R8 receives awards won last year by Audi RS 4 and Audi TT
• Audi most successful manufacturer ever at World Car of the Year
The Audi R8 has achieved a double victory at the 2008 World Car of the Year awards, winning both the World Performance Car and the World Car Design of the Year awards. The super sports car from Audi was chosen for these awards by 47 World Car jurors from 24 countries throughout the world.
When naming the Audi R8 as the 2008 World Performance Car, the jurors observed that it has 'solid credentials on paper thanks to its mid-mounted 420 horsepower V8 engine and aluminum construction. But where it excels is in the exceptional balance, refinement and control that grant the driver the confidence to push to the limit. It has astonishing precision for a car of its size category'.
Last year, the Audi RS 4 collected the World Performance Car award, so this makes it two in a row in the performance category for the brand wîth the four rings. This year there were two representatives from Audi in the final stages of voting, as the Audi S5 was also one of the top three finalists for the award.
For the 2008 World Car Design of the Year award, the jurors praised the Audi R8 for 'transforming the sports car landscape. The R8 design is striking, original and full of interesting details, from the nose strakes to the much discussed vertical ‘blade' behind the B pillar'.
World Car design expert Tom Matano, Executive Director of the School of Industrial Design, Academy of Art Úniversity, San Francisco, ÚSA commented that the Audi R8 is 'a great visual representation of the technology within, a complete package of Techno-Iconic Design'.
Last year, the Audi TT received the World Car Design of the Year award, so Audi has retained this design crown for the second year in a row.
Audi won the overall World Car of the Year title wîth the Audi A6 sedan at the inaugural World Car of the Year awards in 2005. With one overall win and four category wins in total, Audi is the most successful manufacturer at the World Car of the Year awards.Source - Audi